So my frustration level is about as high as it can get. First off, I get out quite a bit during the year, not as much as I would like but thats always the case. I have been hunting moose for five seasons now without ever laying eyes on a bull those precious few days each September, baited bear for two seasons and done nothing more than send a few squirrels into diabetic comas (in fact I have never even seen a bear that wasn't already dead), called predators all 5 winters with zero success. Finally bought an ATV last winter and road that into zone 1 for two delightful days of glassing everyone else glassing empty tundra. I've heard and tried all the advice you can think of about hunting up here "Oh just sit and glass for moose they walk around and you'll see them, call for moose during the rut, call for moose all season, don't walk for moose, walk for moose, watch the swamps, watch the hillsides, run up the rivers, drive the ridges, hunt the chena, hunt the white mountains, hunt the pipeline, hunt every slough, drive out the rex alone, don't drive out the rex alone, I don't even know where the trailhead IS!, go find a place with no one around and sit (yeah that place doesn't exist with an atv, and if you try walking there an atv beat you to it); use anise oil, honey burn, anise burn, bacon burn, beaver castor, tie vanilla soaked rags to your boots, put the barrel by a stream, put the barrel on a ridge; call with this sound, that sound, lots of sound, almost no sound, use a decoy, you don't need a decoy", and my all time personally favorite bit of advice- "sounds like you got it, just keep doing what you're doing and it will happen". Never even wasted the gas to try salmon fishing because I won't drive five hours on the awesome pearls of wisdom I have received regarding that endeavor. Don't have the money to pay guides and/or pilots and I believe I should be able to find my own meat like everyone else, not be led around like a puppy. However, every decision I make seems to be wrong and I end up wasting time and gas going to "new" areas only to find out this new area is a parking lot, brush jungle, or washed away. I have been hacking away at it alone this whole time trying to figure out what to do while all my friends make great claims to take me with them and show me the ropes, then seem to forget my name until it's time to brag about their latest catch/kill. I have the right gear to stay in the woods and can track well, which has been awesome at telling me where everything was. Yes, I love just being in the woods but come on, after this last stint up the steese for another overpriced camping trip I am absolutely baffled and literally have run out of things I can feasibly try. I don't even want to go to work Tuesday because I am the laughing stock of the office now that my coworkers have found out the biggest thing I have killed in five years in Alaska is a couple grouse. My wife, bless her soul, pities me and explains to people that I am too stupid to get it right and too stubborn to quit.
Pheww, ok, all done. Just needed to unload so I can try to come up with a Plan Y or else Plan Z will become: sell the rifles and atv and take up origami.